Senior citizens thrive at Evergreen Commons
By David Hoekman
Evergreen Commons is a community benefit organization serving older adults in the Holland area.
“We have reimagined what it means for older adults to enhance their well-being and to live independently and vibrantly in their residence of choice as long as they are able,” said David Knibbe, president and CEO.
The Wellness Place at 480 State St. provides platforms and opportunities for adults, ages 55-plus, to participate in living life to the fullest by encouraging a healthy lifestyle in all its dimensions: spiritual, social, intellectual, emotional, vocational, financial, environmental and physical.
The nearly 70,000-square-foot facility offers programs, services and activities such as:
- A fully equipped fitness area with certified personal trainers
- Therapy pool and hot tub
- A wide variety of group fitness classes
- Fall prevention programming
- Comprehensive programming for people with Parkinson’s disease and other chronic conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, cancer and heart disease
- Indoor pickleball
- World-class wood-working shop
- Comprehensive enrichment activities
- Music groups and fine arts programs
- Lifelong learning educational classes
- Coffee shop and café
The Day Center of Evergreen Commons at 55 W. 16th St. provides services and programs that help older adults live longer at home. It features a safe and caring environment for adults who need assistance during the day. While caregivers receive much-needed respite, participants benefit from socialization, person-centered programming and health monitoring.
Evergreen Commons is 100% funded by community individuals, corporations and foundations.
The Frost Research Center at Hope College conducted an economic and social impact analysis in 2019 to determine Evergreen Commons’ impact on the region it serves — the southwestern portion of Ottawa County.
Evergreen Commons had a total economic impact of about $5.1 million in fiscal year 2018 through direct, indirect and induced effects. Evergreen Commons added 64.9 full-time equivalent jobs to the region in 2018.
The organization’s social impact is immense. According to the analysis, 79% of Evergreen Commons members stated their quality of life has improved since joining and 81% reported their physical health has improved since beginning to exercise at the facility.
“As an enthusiastic volunteer, you can pour your energy into assisting Evergreen staff as we support our focus of health and wellness within our thriving older adult community,” said Viola Jackson-Cleveland, volunteer relations coordinator. “If you’re asking yourself ‘What type of volunteering can I do?’, consider contacting me to discuss some of our current opportunities for food prep, wait staff, cashier, greeter and tour guide at email@example.com.”